On Tuesday, Oct. 12, the Rams, Albertsons/Vons/Pavilions (AVP) and Pepsi kicked off a series of initiatives to tackle food insecurity by teaming up with Los Angeles Regional Food Bank to host a drive-thru mobile food distribution at Compton College.
"Before the pandemic, 1 in 5 people in LA County were experiencing food insecurity meaning at some point in the month they did not know where their next meal was coming from," explained Roger Castle, Chief Development Officer of Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. "Then, when the pandemic hit, we saw that spike as great as 1 in 4 people needing food assistance. In a community that is more than ten million people, that's more than 2.5 million people that need food assistance, some of which never needed food assistance before."
The food distribution at Compton College was the first of four distributions the Rams, AVP and Pepsi will host this year to benefit three Feeding America® network food banks in Los Angeles County, Orange County and Ventura County. The initiative aims to address the dramatic increase in demand for food assistance caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rams defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day joined last week's mobile food distribution to warmly greet residents and families while helping Rams Cheerleaders and other volunteers load meal packs into vehicles.
"A huge issue in this area is food deprivation. It is a huge passion of mine and something I like to be a part of," said Joseph-Day. "A huge shout-out to Pepsi, AVP and LA Regional Food Bank for hosting this awesome event to give back to the community. All the reactions have been awesome! Everyone has been happy and it's been great."
Joseph-Day recently launched his Bashing Hunger program, a charitable campaign focused on combating food insecurity. In July, he partnered with St. Joseph’s Center to feed 150 Angelenos battling housing insecurity.
"Both of my parents are from Haiti, a third-world country, so when they came here to this country they had to work extremely hard for everything that they had," explained Joseph-Day. "My parents raised me to always give back and help those in need, so it always hits home for me, since I was young, it always hit home."
Southern California residents can support the efforts to tackle hunger in SoCal by redeeming eligible For U® offers on Pepsi-Cola products at their local Albertsons, Vons or Pavilions stores between Oct. 13 to Dec. 28. For every redemption of eligible For U® offers, Pepsi will donate the monetary equivalent of ten meals to Feeding America® and up to a maximum of 100,000 meals.
Later this month, the Rams, AVP and Pepsi will team up with Second Harvest Orange County to support their college pantry program at Fullerton College on Thursday, Oct. 28 from 9 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PT.
To learn more about the Rams community efforts, please visit www.therams.com/community.
PHOTOS: Sebastian Joseph-Day, Los Angeles Regional Food Bank provide free food for college students & community members at Compton College
Los Angeles Rams DL Sebastian Joseph-Day assisted the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank in providing free food for around 800 college students and community members in need at Compton College. Check out photos from the day, sponsored by Albertsons Vons Pavilions and Pepsi!